Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jakarta....my Jakarta – Kota Tua #2: Wayang Museum

I reached the Museum Wayang (Puppet museum) after 5 minutes walk from Bank Mandiri museum. Located on the left side of the heritage complex in Kota Tua. Museum wayang housed in old church built in 1640 by VOC and functioned as a de oude Hollandsche Kerk until 1732. On 1733 the church renovated and named de nieuwe Hollandsche Kerk and continues functioned as a church until the earthquake on 1808 ruined the building. On 1912 after the building reconstructed, Geo Wehry & Co. functioned this building as their warehouse, but then in 1938 the building renovated again to match the surrounding buildings style, from new renaissance style and adjusted into a popular style during Dutch colonial time.

Enough said about the building, after paid IDR 2,000 entrance fee I begin wandering the museum, even the museum itself not as big as other museum in Jakarta, it is housed a big collection of any kind of puppet from accross Indonesia, there is even a collection of wooden puppet that reflecting the stories of a battle of local batavian (or betawi) hero ‘Si Pitung’ toward Dutch colonization with some puppet described as Dutch colonial people including the Dutch colonial army.

Various kind of puppets and masks, wooden puppets and shadow puppets, big and small puppets being displayed in this museum, the shadow puppets mainly comes from Java, stretches from West to East Java with different material made, the famous shadow puppet is made from cow skin, but there are many wayang displayed in here made from grass and other which is interesting to see and making a comparation on the form/shape of the same character made in different materials. the characters of wooden puppet and shadow puppets mainly were from Ramayana or Mahabharata epic. While the wooden puppet comes not only from Java but also comes from Tanah Karo, Batak, North Sumatera. (All this time I always thought that wooden puppet only could be found in Java..silly meL).

Wayang museum also have puppet collection from Cambodia, France, Malaysia, Thailand and Suriname. In this museum we could also found some traditional musical instrument such as Gamelan. It is a mind opening experience to me, as Indonesian, I don’t think I know all the form of wayangs if I am not visiting this museum....afterall wayang already acknowledged as the world heritage of masterpiece creation by UNESCO on 2003, so it is worthed for a visit.

Please bear in mind that all museums in Jakarta closes on Monday and stays open on Tuesday – Sunday from 09.00  - 15.00.

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